links for 2008-09-29

  • Over the years, WordPress has consistently proven to be the most popular blogging system out there. Millions upon millions of blogs run on WordPress, and that’s not counting those that are hosted on, Automattic’s free, hosted blogging service. But it’s not just a blogging platform; as many have discovered, it works really well as a fully-fledged content management system — it really comes down to how the theme is written, and often the plugins that are used. Let’s take a look at some of the oddest uses people have come up with for a mere blogging platform.
  • Last week I posted a collection of Photoshop brushes for creating your own textured graphics. In addition to using brushes, you can get great results and save considerable amounts of time by taking advantage of textures that are freely available. One excellent resources of textures (and other types of stock images) is Stock.xchng. Below you’ll find more than 60 textures from their site. Each image links to the page on where the image can be downloaded.
  • I gave a talk this morning at BarCamp London 5 about CSS Systems, a new term that I am using to define a top-down approach to architecting a site's CSS. A CSS System is a reusable set of content-oriented markup patterns and associated CSS created to express a site's individual design. It is the end result of a process that emphasizes up-front planning, loose coupling between CSS and markup, pre-empting browser bugs and overall robustness. It also incorporates a shared vocabulary for developers to communicate the intent of the code. The talk elaborates on this concept, and also describes a number of tricks I use to preempt maintainability issues. You can view just the slides on SlideShare, but as they might not make sense out of context you can download a PDF of the slides with notes for the complete experience.
  • Monster Commerce was acquired by Network Solutions nearly 3 years ago in December of 2005. As with most “big fish little fish” acquisitions, the little fish gets swallowed up. This situation is no different. Late last year Monster Commerce announced it was upgrading its native client base to the Shopping Cart system version 7. Version 7 is really a native Network Solutions shopping cart system and the Monster Commerce brand is not even visible there. Monster Commerce began the migrations this summer and I have to assume they haven’t gone as planned. Our two MC sites were slated for September and we even had dates that the sites were to ‘go live’. However, Monster Commerce abruptly pulled the plug on the remaining migrations until after the new year. We received the following notice to this effect, but with no new ETA date.
  • As I posted a few days ago, we have had several years of experience running a store powered by E-Commerce software from Monster Commerce (now Network Solutions). Network Solutions has decided to “upgrade” all of its customers (including ourselves) to a new version of the software (called Network Solutions Pro E-Commerce) which is fundamentally defectively designed to have less functionality/capacity than their earlier package while often exhibiting usability problems with negative impacts on productivity.
  • LinkTogether is the most effective way to manage your web services business for web developers, designers, and coders who want to save time and make more money. LinkTogether helps members attract new clients as well as deliver better, faster, and more innovative results to current clients.
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